When you clean the critter shed and find……

When you are a homesteader, you learn to roll with the punches. Oh sure, you try your best to plan, but nature has a way of laughing at you sometimes. This was the case recently when I had the oldest country kid help me clean the critter shed.

Now I don’t know which is worse, the complaining of a 10 year old boy about having to clean the critter shed, or the smell of critter crap on an 80 degree day. Both are highly annoying in their own right! But, it was high time we cleaned the shed, so with shovel and pitchfork in hand, we headed in.

I have noticed lately that our female duck, Betty, along with one of our hens, Buffy, have been trying to get all broody on us. For those of you not in the barnyard know, broody is when a critter wants to be a mama. Up till now I have put a kibosh on both of them. I have found three hidden duck nests this spring! What can I say, Betty is a determined girl. Maybe it is because she hatched out a nest of littles last year.

Okay, now that everyone has gone “awwwww” let’s get back to the fact that my poultry is pushy about bringing new life into the world…….

So after scrapping and scooping, lifting and loading, we managed to clear out a ton (well it felt and smelled like a ton) of chicken and rabbit poo. I did the lifting and loading, while my whiny sidekick rolled the wheelbarrow back and forth to the compost pile. He claimed I had the easy job, while I know for a fact the clean air he was breathing made his job the one to envy. I mean for crying out load, I wasn’t even making the loads that heavy!

Okay, okay, enough about my punk and his lack of work ethic…… So once we had all the poo to the compost pile, it was time to go on a little hunt. You see Betty has been disappear for long stretches of the day again, which can only mean she is up to one thing….. hiding eggs. And let me tell you, my hubby was none to please with the gaggle of babies she hatched last year, so I have been ever vigilant as to Betty’s comings and goings this spring. I have notice she has been spending WAY to much time in the shed as of late, so it was time to get down and dirtier and hunt through all the corners and hidden spots in the shed.

Since we knew she had been going under an old desk in the back corner of the shed, I grabbed my flashlight and a tarp and crawled under the best I could to see what ever it was I was going to see. And you know what I saw? This……

That yellow arrow is pointing to the few wing feather I could see through all the wood and straw under the desk. Dang it Betty! Really!?!?! Again!?!?! And here of all places!?!?! Oh this would not do, not one bit. So after moving wood scraps and making her get off the nest, I saw this…..

21 EGGS!!!!!
Oh dear god, Betty! What have you done!!!!! Not again!!! Now don’t go getting all sad, because even though none of them appear to have begun developing, I didn’t toss them. Why? Because she would just find another spot and hid another nest. Like I said, she is determined. So what did I do? Well first I made sure she couldn’t get back in the corner under the desk, then I moved all her eggs to a more appropriate nesting area.
Of course Mr. Bill had to go charging in the pen after Betty to make sure she was alright as she was VERY upset about me moving her nest. I am going to give her one week to get busy or get off. That’s right, the squish soft inner me is a push over, despite how upset I know my hubby will be if we hatch out another herd of ducklings.

Update: Despite my offer of one week to sit and start growing the eggs, the very next day Betty started kicking eggs out of the nest. *sigh* Really? I give you a beautiful maternity ward and this is how you repay all my hard work of squishing under that dirty desk to retrieve those eggs!?!?! At least they weren’t already developing. Time to clear the nest of eggs and start watching her for her next hiding spot, because I know this girl….. there will be another hidden nest……..

18 thoughts on “When you clean the critter shed and find……

  1. Oh my word! Critters! They never seem to appreciate what you do for them! I remember when I was a kid, my brother cleaned the hog shed, put down new straw, and spent the night with a sow who was ready to have her litter. It was storming like crazy and he worried about her. Next morning, he came up to the house for breakfast….and out she went! Had her piglets about as far from the shed as she could!! But tell me this…can you eat those eggs now? Dona

    1. Oh no, those eggs went straight to the trash. No idea how old they were and was not about to crack them for fear of the smell LOL

  2. You have given this city girl a great glimpse of one part of the homesteading life! Thanks for sharing! #overthmoon

  3. I put a bounty on chicken eggs a few years ago. You might think that the kids would enjoy having an impromptu egg hunt, Easter style, but nope! I told them I'd pay a dollar to anyone who found a hidden nest. It took a while before they found a huge pile of eggs behind our barn in a similarly tight corner. Birds are so funny!

  4. LOL – love it! They can be so sneaky… And I can totally relate to having a whiny sidekick, although my little ones are grown and gone now – sometimes the smallest little task I asked them to complete was met with wails of "your job is easier than mine!" HA! Too funny… Love this post, thanks for sharing with us! (Stopping by from the Good Morning Monday's Party)

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~

  5. Love your blog about real life family homesteading– thanks for sharing!
    Reminded me of our duck trying to nest– they are great at finding hiding spots!
    We thought we lost her to a predator (no she was hidden practically under our noses!)…& it was the drake who led us to the nest & mama.

    1. Those drakes always give away the nest. I just have to watch ours to see where keeps pacing to to know where Betty is! LOL

  6. Every time I get to read about adventures you have in your homestead it is interesting. May be one day I wish I can visit those as I am in city life. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop

  7. Love your funny antics on the farm. Those girls are pretty stubborn, aren't they?!?

    1. I think I finally broke Betty from being broody and now Baby Girl wands to try it out *smacks forehead*

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